Why does hypopotassium (or hypokalemia) cause paralysis in some cases?
The way I think about it...
Cells are bags of K+ (so more potassium in ICF, less in ECF)
When a cell normally repolarises, K+ moves from inside to outside of the cell to make the cell reach a negative resting membrane potential (RMP) (a
Hypokalaemia will decrease potassium channel conductance, which will lengthen repolarisation time of a nerve cell. If this gets to be severe enough, transmission of action potentials will be disrupted, and the result can be generalised weakness or para
Potassium depletion can result in several muscular-related complications (16).
Hypokalemia can hyperpolarize skeletal muscle cells, impairing their ability to develop the depolarization necessary for muscle contraction.
It can also
I believe this relates to electrochemical gradients. Muscle cells depolarise primarily via sodium influx and repolarise primarily via potassium outflux.
Low potassium levels in the blood will cause a shift of intracellular potassium into the b